If you have the time and motivation to manage your own rental property, then you will be able to save money paying a property manager their fees. Keep in mind that managing a single rental property and managing multiple will be very different. The reason that professional property managers are a thing is because the job is not easy. That is why a lot of property owners will hire a professional rather than try to manage a rental property themselves.
That being said, if you are set on managing your own rental yourself then we have decided to share some of the industry tips and tricks in an attempt to make your property management experience as painless as possible.
- Getting the Property Rent Ready
Unfortunately, just having four walls and a roof isn’t enough to be able to rent out a property. You will need to set up the rental so that when you show it to potential renters, their eyes will light up and they will want to rush to grab a pen to sign the rental agreement. Generally, when you are preparing your property to rent, its best to focus on the following:
- Cleaning, Cleaning, and more Cleaning. In order to get your rental ready to show, a quick vacuum and dusting isn’t going to cut it. You will need to shampoo the carpets, clean the windows, wipe down the walls and more. You will be surprised about how much different the rental will look after you clean it from top to bottom.
- Exterior and Interior Refurbishment and Replacement. This part is important unless you are lucky enough to own a brand-new property. You will need to go over your property from top to bottom, inside and out, checking the paint, trim, woodwork, gutters, and other details thoroughly. If you do this, there will be a very good possibility you will find something that needs to be fixed or replaced.
- This part is relatively simple because all you have to do is make sure that all the appliances are in working order. You will need to check the fridge, washer and dryer and dishwasher to make sure that they all work. Keep in mind that even if all your appliances work, if they are old then you may want to upgrade, because new appliances are very attractive to prospective tenants.
- Electric Circuitry. Making sure that all the electric circuitry in the property works as intended is our last tip to ensure that your property is ready to rent. Not only do non-working light switches and outlets make the property seem ramshackle, but improper wiring can be a hazard.
- Finding the Right Tenants
If your property is sitting empty, and you do not have rent paying tenants, even without a mortgage on the property you will still be losing money. In the property management business, the only thing worse than no tenants is having bad ones. Bad tenants will not only not pay you the rent that they owe but will also damage your property costing you money in repairs and upkeep. This is why marketing your property and tenants screening is so vitally important.
Finding tenants to screen will be the first step in this process. There are a multitude of different websites that you can list your property on, such as Apartments.com, which will list your property on a series of partner websites. When it comes to finding directories to list your rental property, the more the better. While most of these services will charge you a fee, the longer your property sits empty, the more money you will lose.
After you have found some potential tenants to show your property to, you will need to begin the tenant screening process. This is when you will do background checks, rental history checks and employment verifications. There are also ways that you can verify the information put on the application yourself.
- Property Upkeep and Management
Hopefully at this point you will have found yourself some good rent paying tenants for your rental property. To manage a rental property correctly you will have to be super attentive to the constant needs of your tenants. If the toilet breaks and you do not immediately fix the problem, you are basically telling your tenants that you do not value them. This is the quickest way to lose good tenants and be back to trying to market your empty property.
In a perfect world these calls for maintenance will come during normal business hours and never on the weekends. Here at The Rental Lister, we can tell you based on our over 25 years of experience as a Las Vegas property manager, this is rarely the case. These calls will come in when you are the busiest, or even asleep on a weekend.
You will need to compile a list of handymen and contractors that will be on call to handle these problems as they occur in a timely fashion. The issue with this is that you will need to trust these contractors to do a good job the first time and finding contractors that you trust will take time.
The above tips just scratch the surface of the many different things that you must do to manage a rental property yourself. At some point you will likely be faced with a tenant who will try to file a lawsuit against you for one reason or another and you will have to either hire an attorney or attempt to try to represent yourself in court.
Another very likely scenario is you will have to proceed with a tenant eviction . Evictions are a long and drawn-out legal process that often involves several court appearances. Again, in this situation you will either have to hire an expensive lawyer or try to do it yourself. Either way you will be losing a great deal of money during this process.
Most property owners find that paying the monthly fee for an experienced Las Vegas property manager to handle all these tasks and issues is well worth the money. All you will have to do is make sure their fees are paid, and you won’t have to worry about any of the above issues.